The Divil Is In The Detail

I have thought long and hard about this one, I know that there are those of you out there who will definitely not agree with me on it, and also, there are those who definitely will. It is a subject that seems to have polarised large sections of the Twatterspere.

Police Now.

There, I said it.

There are so many things about Police Now that bother me, and I don’t even know what order to put them in, so I’ll go for Random.

They are a Registered Charity?  Why? Does this mean that every other Police Training Establishment can register as a Charity? I very much doubt it.

Their registration with the Charity Commission contains some very bold, and to me, bizarre, statements.


Interesting, I thought they only operated in England.  I have asked them what they are doing for PSNI and Police Scotland but as it’s a weekend I haven’t had a reply yet.


Under Classication it mentions Armed Forces.  What on earth are Police Now doing to benefit the Armed Forces and support their status as a charity?

The Beneficiaries of this Charity are The General Public and Mankind.  How crass, glib and arrogant is that statement?  I doubt very much that Billy and Joey living in their South London Council flat will feel any benefits from Police Now.

The Home Office has ‘gifted’ Police Now £5 million in order to fund 250 training places.  My elementary abacus tells me that equates to £20,000 per candidate. £5 million that undoubtedly has its origins in the Top-Sliced Police Budgets.

In 2012 Nottinghamshire Police stated that it cost them £13,000 to recruit and train each Constable.  In this age of Austerity and low inflation and salary increases that figure can’t have increased too much since then. So £20,000 doesn’t really represent  Best Value.

Most charities are exempt from enquiries under the Freedom of Information Act.  Whilst this may not have been a deliberate ploy it doesn’t help to reassure the cynical amongst us. They could embrace the FOIA and answer questions anyway.

One of their original directors appears to have been appointed with about 6 months Police Service, and has now resigned from the board.  What possible skills and exerience of Policing can somebody with so little service bring to the table?  If the skills they bring lie elsewhere then what are they doing in the Police Service? That one has me confused.

Something else that left me confused were TWO entries at Companies House;

Firstly Police Now, he registered charity,

Then we get Police Now Enterprises Ltd, a second and separate company with three directors, who are also directors of Police Now, and one of whom happens to be the Director of HR at the Metropolitan Police Service.  I have absolutely no idea if that is kosher or not, all I know is, in days of old it would not have been appropriate.  Times change, I get that, but it leaves me confused and concerned.

Finally (almost) half a dozen job adverts for positions with Police Now, advertised in LinkedIn.

If you look at the ads, see the Job Description, Person spec etc etc, there is a paragraph hidden away in the Job Descriptions that bothers me.  I have no issue with the salaries offered etc, that is a matter of public record and I don’t need to comment, people can have their own opinions on salaries et al.

More sinister (to me at least) is this paragraph

A great team passionately working to build the next generation of leaders – both in and outside of policing“. What are they saying here?  They are training recruits to be “leaders” who will subsequently leave the Police Family and find recompense elsewhere in the Private Sector?  Is that what they mean?

In the light of that I now have an issue with their logo.  I would love to show you but it’s copyrighted and can’t be reproduced, but what it says is Police Now, and underneath; Influence For Generations.  Hardly that if the recruits/graduates are going to leave after a few years to pastures new.

Or maybe I’ve got it all wrong and someone will point out the errors of my ways.

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6 Comments

  1. I think the answer is yes. They are recruiting for two years only and many will leave at that point. The idea isn’t new it has been borrowed from Teach Now that does the same thing! I have yet to see any independent research into the overall cost effectiveness of Teach Now, possibly because none has been done.

    • The first bit of your comment is incorrect, the recruits are asked to commit to 2 years…they are free to do whatever they like after that…just like any Police Officer is. Some may leave, some won’t…Just like any traditional recruit. Some may go on to great things, some may stay PCs for 35 years…just like any recruit. It’s helpful if people quote accurate facts, something I’ve noticed recently isn’t happening about this subject.

  2. We have seen this type of behaviour which could fall into the category of being unethical and more.

    These companies are allowed to flourish because there is little or no due diligence and the police (senior officers and police staff included) are quite happy to jump in with both feet sometimes believing they are getting something for nothing which is usually not the case, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

    When officers and the victims of crime are bombarded by advertising material and such companies use testimonials of police officers to promote their service, it would be natural to assume that this must be an okay company, they are a charity, the police are promoting their service and everywhere you look in a police station you. see posters.

    Not so, although the following may only be of interest to those involved in domestic abuse, it is a prime example of a company that continues to flourish being promoted by police officers which; technically would be a breach of the standards of professional behaviour of police officers however; due to the promotion by senior officers http://www.ncdv.org.uk/ncdv-in-the-press-media/patrons-supporters/patrons-supporters-2/ I very much doubt that any action will be taken.

    Concerns were initially raised with us by serving officers within specialist units, the National Centre for Domestic Violence ” NCDV” were offering and continue to offer free 45 minute presentations and issuing certificates of attendance, police believing that they were getting free domestic violence courses continue to jump at the opportunity however; some have become wise to this and the NCDV are now targeting local DV support organisations.

    The NCDV had also wrongly stated in their advertising literature that they were supported by the College of Policing which was not the case, as a result of our intervention that reference has since been removed although little action appears to have been taken to remove them from the APP published by the College of Policing.

    The 45 minute presentation is in fact a sales pitch to give out their business cards to victims of domestic abuse where each card could be worth several hundred pounds of business with nothing in return for the police.

    One case we are aware of which resulted in a complaint was a DV case of stalking and child abuse, officers simply gave out these cards rather than filing a crime report and dealing with the suspect. The NCDV subsequently refused to assist the victim in obtaining a non molestation order and the victim was back at square one, the exercise was a false economy for the police and resulted in complaints and more work.

    The NCDV started as a charity, then went to a community interest company and is now simply a Limited company (private business). All this has happened under the noses of the police service, the company also promotes their own database which has been described as a police national database and officers mobiles have their app so they can refer someone straight away who may not actually be helped.

    I think it would be useful for police officers and victims alike to take a look at at an article concerning the NCDV at http://domesticabusematters.wixsite.com/domestic-abuse-watch/ncdv

    I won’t say anymore on the topic here in case it detracts from Alan’s post on “Police Now” however; “Police Now” does seem to be a company going down a similar route and if unchecked will cause more problems than it is likely to solve.

  3. The charity classifications page is just generic categories provided by the Charity Commission which all charities looking to register must select, which makes your critique of them look slightly bizarre.

    So “Armed Forces / Emergency Services Efficiency” is a category just like “Amateur Sport” or “Environment / Conservation / Heritage”. It doesn’t mean Police Now have designs on working with the military, they just had to choose the best fit.

    Likewise “The General Public / Mankind” is just a generic category for who benefits, not something dreamt up in a Police Now classroom.

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